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August 2017 NEWSLETTER
FICA: Will the Revised Act Still be a Four Letter Word?
We are so used to the hassle of having to submit FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) documents every time we want enter into any form of financial transaction that we talk about “being FICA’d”.

It has become a real problem for many of us, but there’s hopefully some good news in recent amendments to FICA.  Financial institutions will now adopt a risk-based approach, requiring them in particular to identify “Prominent Public Officials” and “Prominent Individuals” and to identify and manage the risks involved with them.

We look at who falls into the relevant definitions, how the amendments will make things more difficult for money launderers, corrupt officials and fraudsters generally – and at how “normal” businesses and individuals will with any luck benefit.
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Robots and the Rise of AI: Will New Technology Lead to Greater Unemployment? 
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How will the technological revolution affect us as it unfolds at an ever-increasing pace?  We need to plan for the future by asking ourselves critical questions like: “Will new technologies like Artificial Intelligence result in higher job losses for South Africa?”

To answer that question we’ll consider the lessons to be learned from the introduction of ATMs 50 years ago, and we analyse the results of low global productivity, globalisation, excess global labour, and the lag effect between new technology and gains in productivity.

There are of course threats in these scenarios, but also opportunities – we end by identifying a particular global opportunity that we should be taking advantage of.
 
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Protect Your Clients’ Personal Information from Hackers! 
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As the tidal wave of hacking and ransomware attacks continues to grow, we discuss the dangers facing all of us who have under our control the “personal information” of our customers and others.

A recent case in the UK illustrates one of the risks.  A business with a coding error on its login page was penalised GBP 60,000 (over R1m) for failing to adequately protect its data base of customers.  

What did the UK business do wrong? What is “personal information”?  Are local businesses at risk even before POPI commences?  Read on for the answers....
 
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The Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme: Time is Running Out, and Automatic International Exchange of Tax Information is Kicking In 
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Speak to your accountant now if you are in any doubt about whether or not you should take advantage of the SVDP (Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme).

Firstly, the deadline is 31 August, and an application will take time to prepare.

Secondly, “automatic exchange of tax information” will, from next month, see tax authorities from over 50 countries (set to grow to over 100 by September 2018) automatically reporting to their counterpart tax offices - including SARS - on, amongst other things, bank accounts and investments held by their nationals.  Both tax and Exchange Control contraventions will be under the spotlight. 
 
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Your Tax Deadlines for August (and some SARS Humour) 
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If you are an individual provisional taxpayer, your first 2018 provisional payment is due on 31 August 2017. 

On another tack altogether, who knew SARS had a sense of fun?  We’ll take you to the “Tax and Fun” page on the SARS website.  There’s some interesting stuff there.
 
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The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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